Dear Editor:

I thank The Pioneer for their interest in ultrasound services in Invermere. Ive always been an ardent proponent of formal diagnostic ultrasound services in Invermere, but a few matters pertaining to this subject in last weeks article in The Pioneer need some clarification.

We currently have a wonderful bedside ultrasound machine (called the Sonosite M Turbo), which was purchased by the Invermere Healthcare Auxiliary for use by local physicians working in the emergency room. This portable machine has undoubtedly improved emergency care by local physicians, and saved lives, and I for one am very grateful to all those who have made this possible.

What we need in the medium to long-term though, is the addition of a formal diagnostic ultrasound machine, which could store and transmit images to Cranbrook for interpretation there by specialist radiologists. (Let the image do the traveling, not the patient we live in the 21st century where the Internet is ubiquitous!)

It is also important to note that this type of a machine is an addition to X-rays when it comes to evaluating a patient. Both modalities need to be present. A full diagnostic ultrasound machine is not necessarily portable either, as may be deduced from the article.

Another issue that I wanted to highlight is the fact that there is a shortage of ultrasonographers, and those of you who are interested in a change of direction in your career, this might appeal to you! Would it not be wonderful to have someone from this community train to become an ultrasonographer at, say BCIT or SAIT, come back to Invermere, and serve your own community in this interesting field?

Establishing good medical services like this in any community creates a virtuous spiral attracting more residents and businesses alike. Lets keep this discussion alive, and see if we as a community can make this happen in the long run!

Dr. W. Francois Louw